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Beginner Wildfowl Carver Advice

By Vic Kirkman <marshduck@mindspring.com>

For the Beginner Wildfowl Carver...
...Get the Right Start

A Dozen Things You Need To Know:

1. You can do it if you have the desire to do it and regardless of the amount of "talent" you were supposedly born with.

2. It does require a lot of patience but patience is learned and your desire must overcome your lack of patience initially.

3. You can spend anywhere from $200-$3000 in the first year starting out to learn this art form. Throwing money at it, buying all sorts of equipment and supplies you think you might need, will not help you learn faster. Buy them only as you really need them.

4. It is important to get direction from a proven advanced carver who does work you truly admire.

5. Attend shows and competitions often. You learn an immeasureable amount at them.

6. Buy good reference books and collect photos continuously of your intended subjects and file them in an orderly way for future reference.

7. Learn waterfowl anatomy, their forms and the functions of those forms. Learn why the structures are that way. Be curious and be scientific as well as artistic.

8. Learn color theory and observe colors in nature and notice the subtle colors of your subjects the natural harmony of their color. Live birds are best to observe and study.

9. Don't be afraid to make mistakes in your carving. You will learn how to recover from mistakes and this leads to confidence. Don't be afraid to start over and learn more, its just wood and you are not being commissioned to carve a piece for the Smithsonian.

10. Don't let your ego get in the way of keeping the right attitude. If you just want to carve a duck to show on the mantel, for a present to your spouse, or to show to people who don't know what good or bad carving is, then forget having the right attitude. Most artists understand what I mean here.

11. It takes time, endurance, drive and some financial investment to get to where you can produce something presentable and artfully done. You will be glad you did this for sure after you have paid those prices.

12. I haven't said you can't still have fun and enjoy it. Consider every feather a small victory. A duck has over 10,000 feathers. Go for it!

Vic Kirkman

See his originals at: http://www.wildfowlart.com/

See the Online Wildfowl Instruction Program Preview and FAQ